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UAE Becomes First Arab Country to Grant Paternity Leave for Private Sector

New baby and father

Photo: Unsplash

It has been announced this week that fathers who work in the private sector across the UAE will now be entitled to five days paid paternal leave. They are able to use these days from the date of the baby’s birth up to six months.

The new amended federal law was approved by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan with regards to this area of the regulation of labor relations. By granting paternity leave to employees in the private sector, it has officially made the UAE the first Arab country to offer this family-based benefit within this sector.

The move to offer the five days of paternity leave has been granted in a bid to support gender balance and equal opportunities as well as to realize family cohesion and stability throughout the region. This means that private-sector employees will be entitled to five-day paid leave to take care of their new-borns.

Currently, 90 days of paid maternity leave is granted to women working in the UAE’s public sector while women in the private sector can take up to 45 days of paid maternity leave, as long as they have been employed by the company for a continuous period of at least a year. This new law also provides women in the private sector with an additional five days paid leave.

In this progressive development, the government also hopes that the new, added benefit to support both mothers and fathers will encourage younger talent into the private sector. The step is part of a gender balance-related legislation that the UAE is working on across many levels, projects, and sectors with the aim of creating a more competitively appealing model for working and living in the region while contributing to the forward-thinking overall vision of the UAE for the coming years.

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